Perfumer H

Buy it now: Hot summer, cool scents



Fragrances to wear for a hot summer

We’re in the throes of a proper 30-degree sunny and muggy city summer. I’m not complaining one bit though, because I’m not a commuter and frankly I’ll take whatever I can get. But I believe in the power of smell to help temper the heat.

I’m back on the Hermès Eau de Gentiane Blanche this summer, a really great cooling smell (earthy and green with a trail of musk) that’s like an olfactory glass of iced cordial. I think it’s one of Jean-Claude Ellena’s best, but actually all the Hermès colognes are excellent and I love the 15ml spray bottles for when I’m flanneuring about town. (more…)



Trend report: Namastay in bed




One of this year’s inescapable lifestyle trends has been for stressed out, cash-poor millennials to stay home rather than go out. Which means the money they do have gets spent on small pleasures like scented candles, cute lighting, superior bedding and sheet masks aplenty. Vox unpacks the story in detail here. The TLDR is that  – as with any emerging grassroots movement – commercial brands have been quick to hop on this gravy train, with the so-called ‘homebody economy’ spawning all manner of businesses catering to the #Namastayinbed brigade.

Beauty-wise, it’s a huge cash cow. (more…)



It’s not about product so what works in bricks and mortar retail now?



what works in bricks and mortar retail now? Tiina The store Amagansett Christopher Sturman for The New York Times

News broke last week that Debenhams, one of the UK’s biggest department store chains, is closing 50 stores. I worked as a sales girl at Debenhams in Oxford Street during my art student years and I loved it. I worked with amazing people, liked selling and would pop across the road to the Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf exhibitions at the Anthony d’Offay gallery in my lunch hour.

I haven’t really shopped there as an adult, other than occasionally for beauty or pots and pans. I’m more of a high-end heritage shopper or I go to the minimalist stores like Cos and Arket. But it’s a serious warning sign that retail really is changing. Debenhams’ competitors like John Lewis & Partners and Selfridges have been much better at creating a modern lifestyle destination, which taps into the idea that stores aren’t only for shopping. (more…)



Mother’s pride – my gift guide



Tal Angel silk scarves

It’s all about the women this week, with International Women’s Day tomorrow and Mother’s Day this Sunday. Despite my inner cynic, I still love Mother’s Day – it’s a good excuse to properly spoil our mums and there’s no shortage of great gift options around at the moment.

Beauty brands tend to highlight the twee-est stuff for Mother’s Day, but all the mums I know are super-cool and don’t want floral soaps and Cath Kidston wash bags. They like Liberty and Space NK or small batch organic oils. They love trying new fragrances (Amanda Carr’s We Wear Perfume site is great for discovery) and are just as swayed by chic packaging as the rest of us. (more…)